MTO 18.4: Montague, Chopin’s Étude in A-Flat Major

MTO 18.4: Montague, Chopin’s Étude in A-Flat Major
— Read on

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Bach – Teaching Prelude No. 4 in F Major, BWV 927 – The Golandsky Institute

The Golandsky Institute is the preeminent center for the Taubman Approach, a groundbreaking analysis of the mostly invisible motions that function underneath a virtuoso technique. The resulting knowledge makes it possible to help instrumentalists overcome technical limitations as well as cure playing-related injuries.
— Read on

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Now I know why poles make natural (1930s) cryptographers

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Harmony in chopin

Harmony chopin book

Harmony in Chopin, Cambridge University Press, 2015. ProQuest Ebook Central,

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WRIST excercise

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Etudes (Chopin) | Project Gutenberg Self-Publishing – eBooks | Read eBooks online

Etudes (Chopin): lt;div class=”hatnote”|>This article is about Frédéric Chopin’s Études. For the name of other ar… World Heritage Encyclopedia, the aggregation of the largest online encyclopedias available, and the most definitive collection ever assembled.
— Read on

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Helmann, Jacob N. Consciously controlled piano tone.

Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Helmann, Jacob N.
Consciously controlled piano tone.
n.p., 1969]
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Jacob N Helmann

OCLC Number: 28503
Description: 68 pages : illustrations, music, portraits ; 28 cm
Contents: Instinct and reason —
Relation of speed and strength —
The mystic belief in the human touch —
How to proportion effort to the desired results —
Concrete applications of the means for artistic interpretation —
Legato and smoothness —
Piano legato and imitation of other instruments —
Relation between size of descent and pressure in singing tone —
Motion as means but not as goal —
Controlled motions in fast tempi and in notes of shorter duration —
Strength and the quality of tone —
Color in staccato —
Simultaneous production of a variety of tone colors —
Correct reading before interpretation —
Responsibility: by Jacob N. Helmann.
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Harmonic vs melodic minor

took a 250 yr old piano book (hummel) to motivate the distinction by *name* of harmonic vs melodic minor

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all the books show no spine/cover. What does it mean?

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Contacting from Piano Technique: The Taubman Approach

A brief introduction to Dorothy Taubman’s approach to piano technique.
— Read on

Assuming that the whole playing-arm is in the balanced-armature position (like the old record player needle arm) contacting is a tiny amount of flexion. The force becomes an “biomechanical action” when it has to overcome the friction of the key surface.

Of course, the friction is tiny and this means that the flexion amount can be tiny. As every action has a reaction there has to be a compensating movement in a lever – or two-lever binding -earlier in the linkage chain. In this case, there is compensating stretch of the opposite extensor tendon, most obviously visible as a tiny depression of the metacarpal bridge.

With key up, there are two actions ongoing, and their two parallel reactions. The first pair is maintaining the balanced armature. The second pair is contacting.

With key down there are the same two actions and reactions ongoing. However the first balanced armature pair has been reweighted to overcome the tiny upward force exerted by the depressed key.

As a five year old boy learning piano I recall even now the friction-feel of my teachers (old world) piano which had ivory keys. I would contrast this with my Piano at home – with its plastic keys. Since one of keys had a tiny imperfection in the moulding (which feels large to the finger pad of a five year old) i remember running my finger over this tactile-imperfection – located towards the front of the black b-flat key, where my right hand index finger would normal lie at rest.

So why was that my resting position? Because my 15-year-old sister taught me only one piece. To use Taubman language it was a series of single rotations from d-flat to other black notes (only) above and below d-flat.

Being self taught I had a pinky centric orientation to my hands.I would jump to the thumb rather than jump away from the thumb. Probably here where I learned to do backwards rotations, between fingers one and two in particular – as they jumped and then struck d-flat, e-flat d-flat sequences.

Even with that simple piece, one learns to internalize different fingers as distinct pivot points ( for single rotations) , Especially after a lateral adjusting motion to change resting hand position.

It was not long before I also learned to distinguish hand touch from forearm touch. As I would swing my elbow in and out from my torso it would activate the forearm touch as the elbow swing changed direction. I learned that elbow swings and pivot points related in an irregular fashion, fitting the pending direction of the consonancy, raised/lowered nature of keyboard keys, and the desire to tie rotations to desired rhythmic accents.

I’m pretty sure Chopin taught himself the same material. He was just fortunate enough not to go to a professional piano teacher! He got to stay away from the C major all white note scale! He Never lost the naturally coordinate movement of elbow-swinging forearm touch distunct from hand touch, combing with rotations (and this taubman-evil backwards rotations)

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Yet another op 10 no 2 blend

Ckavichord players play c and a minor “white note” scales wit


This of course builds in rotations – remembering that that basic hand is well titled to the right. Played lightly, you get lots of bounce from the flexors.

And there no trying to pronate from a taubman classic hand. (Note taubman folks do advise that taubman hand/arms can be at an angle ti the keyboard, provided its still stays straight!)

For the chromatic scale, one simple uses chopin fingering – so the back notes are now incorporated … always on your long third that is generally always flexing while also pronating- whether ascending or descending

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Paraphrasing, Abby tells one to have a laundry list of memorized items – things to think about ” right” upon first taking the piano stance. Lets make that list

here is my list – as it comes to my mind.

we have to skip. Just as we did when 10 years of age.

One. Stand

Stand in front of the piano; don’t sit. Stand with feet apart, some 18 inchs. Put most of your weight on your heels.

Two. Swing and Sway
1. we are going to swing the right arm while crooked. Crooked just means the top and forearm are in the startup playing stance! If standing, the logical piano keyboard is a little higher than normal!
2. The crooked arm should looks very much like the letter L, seen from the side. Check it with a iphone photo taken by a friend.
3. We shall swing the arm like that swinging ship ride at six flags theme park (imagery). The right elbow tip is the ship subject to the swing.
4. missing pictures
5. See
6. So, swing the ship back, with elbow tip out and back – at the “top of the (back)swing”. You get there using the same motion you use to (slow motion) elbow someone in the stomach, if holding you from behind
7. let the ship now swing down and forward – by releasing the shoulder holding the ship up at the top of the swing.
8. as it swings down, pull in in the elbow such that it slaps the torso at about the hips. It should do this at “the bottom” of the swing. The swing is thus a kind of cross-body swing. The torso should react under the small impact by swaying the hips. Let them sway until the torso comes back into balance and has “absorbed the tiny impact”
9. After the slap (at the bottom of the swing), continue swinging forward. This happens in parallel with the swaying of the hips.
10. Swing back and forth lots of times, each time causing the torso to sway and rebalance.
i. On the forward swing, play 1-2-3-4-5
ii. On the backward swing, play 1-2-3 only. Don’t play 5-4-3-2-1 (even though its feels right)

Three. Play a drum roll of fingers
1. With the right thumb aimed at f, play at the bottom of the swing.
2. The thumb should hit the key at the bottom of the swing.
i. The thumb strikes at the bottom when landing on the forward swing.
ii. The thumb strikes at the bottom when landing on the backswing.
iii. This is just “in and out”. Note in and out is swinging (in and out, back and forth).
1) Note we play 1-2-3 whether we are the bottom of n back swing or the bottom of the fore swing.

3. Each finger should land as the swing continues BEYOND the bottom, as the swing is coming up from bottom. It should be a rat-a-tat machine gun sound when all fingers are done. Ba-ba-bum for the back swing (fingers 1-2-3) and ba-ba-ba-bum for the fore swing (fingers 1-2-3-4)

Four. Add elbow arcs (= wristcircles)
1. Now do the cross-body swing again, starting as above.
2. Be conscious that your shoulder muscles are actively moving your elbow from its elbow-out location to its elbow-in position (as it slaps the torso)
i. This plays you the fore swing 1-2-3-4
3. Now reverse that on the back swing
i. This plays you the back swing 1-2-3
ii. Goes from the elbow-in to elbow-out (as you do complete the back swinging).
iii. Be conscious that your shoulder muscles are actively moving your elbow from its elbow-in location to its elbow-out position (as it slaps the torso of your duet partner on the same piano bench)
4. If you can think elbow in/out (distinct from in and out, as used by Abby)

Five. Now think scales
1. Start the swingin process AT the far end of the swing
i. (do a pretend fore swing to get there, f you want)
2. Perform a 1-2-3 backswing…
3. And as you reach the limit of the backswing, actively “push” a foreswing.
i. This “continues” the 1-2-3 (already played) with another 1-2-3-4
ii. Of course there is tiny time gap between 3 (end of 1-2-3) and (start of 1-2-3-4).

Six. Start skipping!
1. Do the above lots of times, one after the other.
2. You should feel a skip (in your arm), like you skipped as a kid with your hips and legs.
3. Skip along the octaves of a 4-octave scale!
At the last skip *as you “turn” to come back skipping down the octaves, change 1-2-3-4 to 1-2-3-4-5-4-3-2-1

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Mechanics of piano technic

Mechanics of piano technic
Mechanics of piano technic!/search?bookMark=ePnHCXMwRZ1NCsIwEIW7kIKid5gLBFoz_cOlKO7VdUmbFIsxBtMuvL2TtNj9I5BAknkh75tNtBP-b7YZQoZLxlGMiBniOnpdle7YQ2kLvQFL039DgKgeYI4ECQ2aNjit96KYWKYtkLEGq8kuA1WlTwf-nfIvCfBjFzRuYkK6bbQaPiOdsffz6Xa8sLm3AFMpzyu2L5q8FdioRJFlkHRppjLFoqt4KmTmKZtlhaVIKpFksis8WK_gHLOykeRQhO-lzKZxl4BEPZre-C7KtfnamtTcs2DI9nniyw9FtFbD

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The bounce explained

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I thought of you when I read this quote from “How Chopin Revolutionized Piano Music.” by Michael Pasikov –

“CHAPTER 4: Chopin Etude #1 Chopin Etude #1 is in C major and is influenced by Bach’s Prelude #1 in the Well Tempered Clavier. In both pieces Arpeggios are used to create a texture in the piece. The contrast is evident… Bach sounds Angelic and quite peaceful, while Chopin sounds dramatic and strong. Chopin completely changed the way the pianist plays the piano forever.”

Start reading this book for free:

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I think you might like this book – “Abby Whiteside on Piano Playing: Indispensables of Piano Playing and Mastering the Chopin Etudes and Other Essays” by Abby Whiteside.

Start reading it for free:

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Another blend for op 10 ni 2

In the last blend story We considered flat fingers. In this blend story, we consider in and out.

The blind is basically two sequences of fingerings: 12345, 678. The 12345 sequence is an in and out sequence, Starting on the first chord and landing on the middle chord. Its rhythm is; Ya ta Ta ta Tat. The 678 sequence has the rhythm pattern: de de de.

In The language in and out spirals The sequence 12345 are the circle and the sequence 678 is the small-loop.

Going up the Op. 10 number two scales we have three in and out sequences, remembering that each one in and out of sequence has two patterns: 12345, 678. The 678 of the very last sequence is distended.

When going down the Op. 10 number 2 scale we also have several in and out sequences. However these are descending with the circle heafing right to left descending

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The consciously controlled piano tone

APA Citation
Helmann, J. N. (1969). The consciously controlled piano tone: most natural approach to the problem of artistic piano playing. 2d ed., enl. and rev. n.p..

MLA Citation
Helmann, Jacob N. The Consciously Controlled Piano Tone: Most Natural Approach to the Problem of Artistic Piano Playing. 2d ed., enl. and rev. n.p., 1969.

Warning: These citations may not always be complete (especially for serials).

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Mechanics of articulations

Chopins description is better – for learning how to deliver them:

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330 • Flat fingers « Pianist to Pianist, by Jura Margulis

330 • Flat fingers « Pianist to Pianist, by Jura Margulis
— Read on

I love this – especially its pertinency to op 10 no 2

I love that his crab and scorpion sting follow at the end. We use these below (dog paw is his crab and sting us three/four finger pre-extension with masking pedal).

Try this blend:

Flat fingers, first: giving gravity tap. This is taubman.

dog paw on the first of the kernel – thinking it as the last (chord) tone of the kernel pattern . You end up here that is (back in dog paw repose). Its a little counter intuitive. So ignore how you were taught to think of beat notation!

Wrist is low at the end (preparing for an extension to follow in the next kernel). Yes that means the very first chord is wrist-low! Play the kernel leading up to it without sounding, to get into the kernel-rhythm.

To set up the following 7tap kernel (the last of which is that wrist chord in paw position), extend the paw by simply extending the forearm (raising wrist) while also extending three and four fingers as a unit (without playing). This opens the hand (as a sideeffect of extending three over a raised wrist. Formally, you get palm extension (without abducting 1 and 5)

Pedal while you are doing this – to hide the non legato! Thats what chopin means, by his short pedal point.

The phrase “always legato” in this piece refers to chopins terminology (of how to deliver his taxonomy of articulations). The exception to the general rules is as above – for advanced students only. See last post. As taubman said, thats what the pedal is for! (Simulating legato, in gravity-tap playing)

So what is the middle chord within the kernel there to teach? Its teaches chromatic hand and arm, to use the taubman language. Mild rotation, in a flat finger tapping, in a post extension kernel heading for palm flexing (dog paw) will set up a bounce reflex on some of the taps. When accelerated with rotation, this propels the lateral movement (within the kernels scale, or monodic consonances – to use a chopin era phrase). The forearm will auto adjust – responding to the reflex – giving you proper taubman hard and arm.

Im not too surprised that the golinsky teaching fails to deliver all this! Its difficult to communicate. Mix it with chopin teaching method, it all hangs together.

And don’t forget the “arcane” flat finger technique – well written up for bel canto cantabile on a piano. Without it, its hopeless to do what chopin intended in this excercise

But thats not to say u cant also play it as abby whiteside taught. That works too (mechanically and in the no injury sense). but it fails the cantabile test! Elements of the pieces muddle section demand white-side technique, mostly to rest a moment once all the kernels start to change direction so much.

Font forget to thump out a strong beat in the left! Its cut time really. Rubato in each of the upper hands intra-kernel passages is fine, but keep the beat in the left. Its your self conductor waving his baton to sync up the band of players!

As you get good you can string the kernels together in longer phrases. Then you will use the left hands own very cannily crafted rhythm to feel an almost latin groove to this piece! Long live el commandante (che, castro et al etc) enabling cuban rhythms to remain free from yanqui jazz!

The middle section is the mist fun, since chopin adds in those specifucally chromatic modulations (augmented sixth giving a submediant enharmonic shift point). No doubt he was just learning those formally in his theory class, feeling them out as tonal shifts. Provably influence by bach’s pure mastery of these, here, in oratorio and chorale form.

Rambling now…

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Chopin’s touch

What Chopin meant here was that the pleyrl action was responsive to his gravity-tap . Other “lesser” keybeds/actions didnt give any bounce-feedback (making chopin touch ineffective). He was left only with striking the key, getting whatever “standard” tone was built into the mechanism.

Now given the pleryl action he still had to find his own “form” – namely gravity-tapping. When out of form he played with fingers (vs gravity-taps)

The comment about strength refers to his muscular torsi strength needed for belly breathing. This suspends his coughing (since it minimizes air flow induced by classical breathing) and of course the now primed torso sets up a fluid whole arm response …able to sense and react to gravity tapping.

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Op 10 no 1

First of all learn to gravity-tap using all fingers, per taubman technique. You have to be good at it.

Second, on the way up (only), apply Edna’s notion of “in and out” to each octave’s (extended) appegio. The in and out element of the “kernel” movement is really a dumbed down version of the mechanism required for the seventh etude in the series.

If you are throwing your fifth finger forward always onto the 10th from the root, you have the essence of the motion. (You don’t also throw the first finger, unlike in the seventh study). The in and out will follow automatically. It’s easy to justify stressing the fifth finger since there is a stress mark in the notation!

Third, the thumb direction is very-out on the first kernel and a little-out on the subsequents (of each phrase). Its rhythmic role is different, the first time! Don’t forget to walk hand and arm, and switch (complex phase) by 180 over the last octave (encompassing a 1-extended-octave ascent plus its descent)

Fourth, on those heading-up (and around) extended-octave motions, remember the “steam train” metaphor for the shoulder and the top of the humerus. Its vital for enabling the “free” taubman” forearm.

You need the forearm to be a “free linkage” (and thus you need the shoulder rotator to be specifically eccentric, to deliver the freedom to the link rod). This caboodle makes the whole mechanism respond/react to the bounce-signal from the keybed as the finger is being tapped. The “systems” reaction to that (tiny) signal will be next finger lifting! (It will lift with subconscious in and out or rotation added in to that custom-lift.) This corrects for the positional-eccentricity induced by the last fingers tap – as it hits the designated note (at some custom angle). Strike too had, the signal is lost in the overload.

In short, going up and around uses a self correcting two-eccentric-rotator rod-linked system, with the shoulder rotator i) responding to the (non linear) linear-direction movement of the main steam piston and ii) reacting to the imbalance induced in the wrist double-hinge!

This is just classical steam train mechanical engineering, for delivering (somewhat irregular compression power) over a bumpy track! There needs to be lots of slack (and re-balancing focused “eccentric weighting”).

On the way down, its mostly right hand (descending) easy double rotations, with hand and arm covering the distances between fingers. Obviously there us a snappy single rotation as you play 1-5, resetting the kernel motion.

Here is an eccentric system – self balancing (reno rodeo carnival):

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GitHub – pgimeno/mmus2mid: This project has moved to –

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I thought of you when I read this quote from “How Chopin Revolutionized Piano Music.” by Michael Pasikov –

“CHAPTER 4: Chopin Etude #1 Chopin Etude #1 is in C major and is influenced by Bach’s Prelude #1 in the Well Tempered Clavier. In both pieces Arpeggios are used to create a texture in the piece. The contrast is evident… Bach sounds Angelic and quite peaceful, while Chopin sounds dramatic and strong. Chopin completely changed the way the pianist plays the piano forever.”

Start reading this book for free:

Annoying. Play it right, it’s just as tranquil

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chopin coloring book

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took a physicist to explain the chopin etude middle section design ! (Cycles through all 12)

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We have been learning to play the Chopin Op. 10 number two study.

The key technical requirements are exactly those proposed by White side. In addition, you have to play with the cut time rhythm. This means, every two notes is in March Pattern, with the stress on the second note. Apart from those indications, always use Chopin’s fingering.

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Advanced Piano Coaching Online –

Advanced Piano Coaching Online –
— Read on

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every north African congo drummer knows this.

Be interesting to know how they describe the hand/finger patterns. May have “alternative” description.

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